More and more people are giving up wheat every day, far more than just those diagnosed with Celiac disease. Perhaps encouraged by reading Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis or the testimony of journalists and many others who have experienced dramatic health benefits, many are turning to a life without wheat.
Unfortunately, many who are giving up wheat are replacing the wheat with “gluten-free” processed foods from their grocery store, thereby trading one problem for another.
To see what I mean, take a look at a few gluten-free foods pulled randomly from my local grocery store shelf. First, is gluten-free pancake mix:
Looks yummy, but what are the ingredients?
It’s great that we’re avoiding wheat, but if we’re doing so by adding white rice flour, sugar, dextrose, potato starch, and cane juice to our diet, we’re just replacing one problem with another. The damagingly high glycemic ingredients of this product are likely to send anyone’s blood glucose skyrocketing. Don’t believe me? Have a plate of these gluten-free pancakes and check your blood sugar one hour and two hours after finishing your meals.
Now for a gluten-free bread mix:
How do the ingredients compare?
White rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, corn starch, and cane sugar do not form the cornerstone of a nutritious meal. Like the pancake mix above, substituting regular bread with this gluten-free product is going to send our blood glucose into the stratosphere.
When I read comments online from people who gave up wheat but haven’t lost any weight (or have gained weight), my first thought is that they’ve probably replaced the wheat products with gluten-free products like these, ensuring that their glucose and insulin levels remain high and thereby thwarting any attempts at losing weight.
What’s the solution? We shouldn’t try to duplicate our wheat-based existence with gluten-free breads, cookies, cakes, pies, crackers, and other starch-ridden products. Instead, build a lifestyle around unprocessed foods like meats, vegetables, nuts, berries, and, if you’re into dairy, whole-milk cheeses and yogurts.
For those times when you would like a guilt-free cake, pie, cookie, or such, instead of shopping in the gluten-free aisle of your grocery store, try some low-carb alternatives like those found in Dana Carpender’s cookbooks or the fabulous Wheat Belly Cookbook.
And in a future post, I’ll share the recipe for my wheat-free pancakes that also double as sandwich bread.